Regardless whether one loves or hates Toyota, a herd of huge elephants in the living room of this controversy have thus far been completely ignored in news reports and analysis. These include, first, a pair of related conflicts of interest underlying the government's role, and, second, the disreputable records of several key "expert" witnesses in the mounting crusade against the besieged automaker.Is America bullying Toyota?
The conflicts of interest begin with the fact the federal government is itself the controlling owner of General Motors, having invested billions of U.S. tax dollars in one of Toyota's two main American competitors. There is no creditable way to separate federal policy decisions from their commercial effect on both Toyota and GM as long as the government is simultaneously prosecutor, judge and jury. At the very least, the government must divest its GM shares as soon as possible.
The other conflict of interest is with the government's major partner in GM ownership, the United Auto Workers union. Aside from the fact Toyota has for decades successfully resisted UAW attempts to organize the Japanese automaker's U.S. work force, the UAW is among the most powerful special interests doling out campaign contributions to congressmen sitting in judgment of the stricken car company on two key House panels.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Is America bullying Toyota?
The Washington Examiner today points out the obvious: